Probably the most commonly undergone experience, besides viewing the Falls themselves, is that of taking an evening cruise on the classic 'African Queen' river steamer. However there are numerous other experiences that can be enjoyed on the tranquil Upper Zambezi River.
River Cruising ($60-70)
The African Queen Cruise Company operates two high-quality vessels - The African Queen and The African Princess, on which you can take a truly luxurious cruise on the tranquil waters of the Upper Zambezi. The African Queen itself is a triple deck 70ft catamaran, furnished with Rhodesian Teak, Beech Wood and brass finishes, accommodating a total of 120 guests,
The classic experience is their leisurely 2.5 hour sunset cruise (as illustrated in our Safari Diary website), although they offer early morning and lunchtime cruises as well. Since the cruise takes place along the border of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, you are likely to catch a glimpse of hippos yawning, crocodiles lurking in the shallows, and even giraffe and elephant crossing, dependent on the time of day.
It is also possible to take small boat cruises on the upper river, as illustrated in the banner picture above..
This takes place on the tranquil waters of the Upper Zambezi. A specific Canoeing Trail operates above the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe on the stretch of the Zambezi River between Siansimba Islands and the National Park entrance, running along the banks of the Zambezi National Park. The Trail passes along the banks of the Zambezi National Park, where clients have a good opportunity of viewing various species of animals, such as Elephants, Buffalo, Impala, Kudu, Hippo, Crocodile etc. The birdlife is prolific with at least 50 common species of bird that can be seen from your canoe.
The Zambezi is famous for one of the great freshwater game fish – the Tiger Fish., a powerful predator that can weigh over 15 lbs, and require a good deal of fishing skill to land. Bream also abound in the river, and, although nowhere near as aggressive as the Tiger, even a 5 lb specimen can provide a major challenge. Although the Lower Zambezi remains our favourite destination for fly-fishing, the Upper Zambezi here still provides excellent sport (generally on a catch-and-replace basis).
A company, Angle Zambia, provides fishing excursions here. Experienced guides will take you to the best fishing areas, and a variety of wildlife may also be viewed along the river.
Livingstone Island ($170)
On the 16th November 1855, Dr David Livingstone was paddled in a dugout canoe through swift rapids towards the roar and rising cloud of mist suspended above a cliff over which the whole of the mile-wide Zambezi River plunged. Landing on what is now known as Livingstone Island he gazed upon one of the most spectacular sights in the world for the first time, which he named in honour of his Queen as The Victoria Falls.
During the low-water season – July to January – you can yourself take a visit here (by conventional boat) and enjoy the spectacle of The Falls from close to, combined with a drink and a meal.
On the far side of Livingstone Island, on the very edge of The Falls, is situated the iconic ‘Devil’s Pool’, in which you can indulge yourself with a swim in one of world’s most fascinating natural pools of water. I suppose that you could compare it with swimming in an infinity pool, since at its edge you are able to experience the ultimate thrill of peering over the brim of the largest curtain of falling water.
Not for the faint-hearted though. See our Safari Diary page for more information.